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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  March 8, 2013 1:00pm-1:59pm PST

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pretsed frustrated, tired, sometimes tipsy travelers? what could possibly go wrong in sure the vast majority of americans will be responsible but flight attendants will tell you they deal with unruly passengers every day and they're rightly protesting this bone-headed change as is the federal law enforcement officers association. and how long until the nra get in and says, hey, air travelers being unarmed is a threat to their civil liberties. most of the policy change makes sense. now you can bring on board souvenir baseball bats, pool cues, golf clubs, but still no box cutters, no razor blades, no knives that don't fold and no water from outside because stuff. some said the change to allow small pocket knives comes because they're not dangerous. oh. others said small knives are hard for the tsa to detect. so allowing them lowers the tsa's failure rate. oh, that, boys and girls, is what you call moving the goalposts. the tsa's job is to make us safer. this does not do that.
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and frankly it contributes to my sense that they're doing this sort of kabuki theater or security theater. the faa is also not keeping us safer with the absurd continuation of the ban on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing. why can i read a book, a printed book, but not an ereader? because it emits electrodes? oh, okay, but skin t.i.p.s.s have demonstrated repeatedly that the electronic emissions from our devices is so minimal it can't possibly have an impact on a plane. perpetuating this irrational fear only adds to the tension inside the cockpit -- in the cabin. on a flight to boise a 68-year-old man named russell martin punched a 15-year-old in the arm after the kid refused to turn off his iphone. martin told the arresting officer he felt he was protecting the entire plane. he was not. thankfully he didn't have a small knife with which to shank the boy into submission, aka
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human airplane mode. the next time you fly the unfriendly skies, just know the person next to you might be armed and irrationally afraid. have a nice flight. that does it for "the cycle." and now your captain flying you through the next hour with no weapon but his mind, martin bashir. >> thank you very much for that more than embarrassing introduction. it's friday march the 8th, and there's a great reason to look past this wild winter weather, a new jobs report that points to a thaw in this frigid economy. >> stunning new numbers on the economy today. >> let's get right to the breaking news. the job numbers are in and they're good. >> huge job gains. >> when you see the unemployment rate dropping, you have to take it with a grain of salt. >> guys, can we show the undergarments? >> no. what are you nuts? >> i think our party needs something new, fresh, and different. >> logical choice for president
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of the united states. >> leadership of courage, of stamina, of determination. >> yes, talking and talking and talking to fill hours of empty time. it's the story cable news was born to cover. >> i'll tell you, the e-mails came flying in. >> could change the direction that we are all heading. >> reince priebus. >> we just can't have msnbc hosting a debate. >> reince priebus. >> sounds likeout get in it to win? >> obviously. >> and she stepped on the ball. >> if mr. paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts. ♪ >> it is a snowy day here in new york, but the skies are brightening over this nation's economy. the labor department today releasing stronger than expected jobs numbers for february.
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236,000 jobs created last month with the jobless rate edging down to 7.7%. it's the most jobs added since november and the lowest unemployment rate in four years. the white house released a statement, quote, while more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction. they warn, however, that february's report is the last one before the government's across the board spending cuts went into effect. cuts that the congressional budget office estimates will cost some 750,000 jobs. as for republicans, this doesn't appear to be of concern. with house speaker john boehner suddenly dropping his where are the jobs line and offering his viewtoday. quote, without a plan to control spending and balance the budget our national debt will keep piling up on the backs of our children and grandchildren.
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our most important safety net programs will grow weaker and weaker and the prospects for long-term economic growth will dim. that's why the house will begin work next week on a budget that offers a better path forward. the man entrusted with that path, austerity alpha male congressman paul ryan, who will reveal his latest republican budget tuesday. a conservative blueprint that would balance the budget in ten years through deeper spending cuts and no additional revenues whatsoever. ahead of the budget's release, ryan lunched with the president thursday along with his democratic counterpart chris van hollen. that lunch part of a reach out by the president which included din we are a dozen republican senators this week and with the president seeking partners in a big deal to reduce the deficit. it seems one particular republican leader is on the outs. as the obama campaign's stephanie cutter told my colleague alex wagner earlier today. >> it's pretty clear that john boehner cannot lead his caucus.
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we've tried several times and every time he walks away and the american people pay. so now the president is pursuing a new strategy. >> but it remains to be seen if this next chapter will read any differently from the last four years of frustration. joining us now is nbc's kristin welker live at the white house. i want to get to the long-range budget deal in a moment but what is the white house saying today about these positive job numbers but also the looming impact of the sequestration cuts? >> reporter: right. well, martin, good afternoon. there's no doubt that white house officials are concerned about the impact that the sequester will have on the overall economic picture. they are hesitant to venture is guess on what the specific impact will be. they point to those 750,000 estimated jobs that could be lost which you just mentioned. economists have been more blunt however. they have said that the sequester could cause the economy to contract. i can tell you based on my own
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reporting, this is really something that is going to hit pockets of the country hard. so it is going to be gradual. it's going to take effect over time, but it really could impact pockets of the country. for example, here in washington, d.c., 14% of all of those people employed are employed by the federal government, so it could have an impact here. and also on low to middle income americans. for example, head start programs. as we have reported as many as 70,000 kids could be kicked off of the head start rolls. there's a lot of concern that economists are expressing about some of those figures and they say this spring really could yield some lower jobs numbers. so a lot of anticipation and concern about what the actual impact will be. >> and so, kristin, with the president headed to capitol hill next week, what are you hearing about the white house strategy for reaching a big deficit reduction deal and do you expect the president to spend the weekend looking to buy a magic wand from somewhere in paul ryan's congressional district?
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>> reporter: well, martin, you know, if such a wand existed to get these two sides together, someone probably would have bought it. it would be an expensive wand but in all seriousness, i think you're going to continue to see president obama sort of reaching around congressional leaders. circumventing them, dealing with rank and file members of congress. but interestingly today, deputy white house press sergeant josh ernest was asked about this point, what is the path forward here, and he said actually it's not clear, that we will continue to sort of see this outreach, but how do they find common ground? that really remains the big question. the other question, martin, how does president obama bring congressional leaders like house speaker john boehner, like senate minority leader mitch mcconnell back into the fold so he can turn some of these conversations into legislative action. but the thinking here at the white house is that there are some members of congress who are still foggy about some of president obama's plans and likewise, this will give them, republicans in congress, the
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ability to say here is what we're willing to put on the table. martin? >> kris ktin welker, thank you. >> with us is msnbc political analyst karen finney and political analyst michael eric dyson. they are all telling us higher taxes would result in massive job losses, higher inflation, and the collapse of industrial jute put. this week the stock market has broken records virtually every day and now we have a much larger than expected jobs report and clear signs of recovery within the housing market. what happened or is paul ryan as badly mistaken as we suggested he was three months ago? >> yes, he was, although i do love the fact that apparently from what we know at this point in his budget next week, he's perfectly happy to take credit or account for all of the hard work that president obama had to do in terms of raising tacks on the wealthiest as part of the
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january 1 deal. so he's happy to take credit for that but he can still keep saying how it's not a good idea. that's kind of my favorite part of this fuzzy math. you know, i think if anything what we've seen in the stock market though also sort of proves part of the point, which is trickle down economics doesn't work. companies are doing very well because they're still doing more with less. american workers are working harder than ever, but companies are not necessarily taking that profit and reinvesting in their workforce and in their companies. that's part of the problem. it is not trickling down. >> right. professor dyson, as an educator, i'm sure that you'll be interested to learn that since 2009, the public school education sector in this country has lost 340,700 jobs. we know this gives republicans like paul ryan pair rocksisms of pleasure and i guess there will be nor job losses in his budget next week, but is this really the best way to prepare for the
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future of this nation after the recession we've been through? >> absolutely not. the reality is that america is lagging behind in education, not only in terms of technical deficiencies so we have to boost up our stim, science, technology, engineering, and math, but we also have to broaden our conception of what diversity is within education and reach out to every segment of america to make sure our children are being educated. when we have states like mississippi and arkansas and the like which are at the lower end of the totem pole because they're being defunded and when we have great gulfs between suburban schools and you're ban schools, we know that we are reinforcing a two-tiered system here and with the extraordinary resegregation of american education or black and brown students, we know they're being locked out as well. this does not bode well for the country. the country has a vested interest in extremely expanding diversity but also addressing the disparities in funding that need to come forth and paul ryan's austerity budget really isn't going to help.
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>> karen, speaking of education. we know that republicans have problems with science when it comes to climate change. >> yes. >> but does this not prove that they also have problems with empirical evidence when it comes to the economy because they tell us that the only way to go -- to get out of our recession is to cut spending. just as europe has done, but europe is still in recession. >> right. and don't you love the fact that they've been saying all along that barack obama is trying to turn us into europe and we don't want to be like europe and yet they're the ones advocating for policies that would mirror the failure of what we've seen in austerity policies in europe. so we know that's not going to work. remember, this republican party has a little bit of trouble with math. it's not just science and it's not just evidence. remember the last time when we really got into the details, for example, of paul ryan's budget, we found that it didn't do all of the things that it said it would do and that it actually would add to the deficit in some areas. so i think we're going to have
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to take a very critical look yet again at what they propose because just because they tell us it's true does not make it so and we have empirical evidence on that. >> we're looking forward to it. professor dyson, can you imagine, sir, how well the economy might be doing if we hadn't had the self-inflicted debt ceiling crisis, if we hadn't had the self-inflicted fiscal cliff crisis, and if we hadn't had the self-inflicted sequester crisis? can you imagine that? >> it would be extraordinary. because what that would mean is that the american public would benefit from our politicians in a very substantive fashion. you use the word empirical. we know what it means, it means that would i falsified or va fied through the census. we have enough sense to understand what is at stake. what is at stake is either the republicans safeguard their narrow ideological barn so they can continue to stack up hay with their own followers or they let the horses out the barn and let everybody feed freely. sorry for that analogy. the point is this, that america is being cooped up in a very
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narrow way by the very vicious ideology of the far right wing and the broad pastures of america need to be grazed in by those who have benefited, by those who should benefit from it. we have worked very hard here. all the crises to which you point suggest that america would be doing so much better, the jobs report today unexpectedly great. if we had fiscal policy that could match the kind of integrity our politicians should have, we would have not necessarily a boom, we would have a better economy on a more stable basis that would be more widely distributed among american citizens. >> indeed, karen finney and professor michael eric dyson. professor, i wish you good luck for the big game tomorrow against sara cues. i'm sure if you're in the locker room, your team cannot win. >> i have three of the players in my classes. they've got to win. >> thank you. next rand paul makes his play but does he have the staying power to last until 2016? stay with us. >> that was one of the shortest
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letters i have ever seen from an attorney general, and i think it had a very silent "fu" in it somewhere. >> "fu" of course stands for fank you for asking. ♪ [ female announcer ] from tracking the bus. ♪ to tracking field conditions. ♪ wireless is limitless. [ female announcer ] from more efficient payments. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups. ♪ wireless is limitless. ♪ is it when you've when left work behind,ise?
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rand paul's concern to protect jane fonda and those sitting in american cafes from a drone attack has earned him no love from his fellow senator john mccain. in fact, the arizona senator calls mr. paul and several of his ilk wacko birds in an interview with ""the huffington post"" today. we assume it did not help mr. mccain's blood pressure when he
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heard this statement from mr. paul this morning. >> how seriously are you looking at 2016? >> we're looking at it very seriously. i think our party needs something new, fresh, and different. >> joining us now is nia-malika henders henderson, a political reporter with "the washington post," and my colleague toure, one of the co-hosts of "the cycle" here on msnbc. toure, i would like to show you a photograph for a moment. it was from today's "new york times." it shows john mccain uncomfortably sharing an elevator with rand paul, the young lady there appears to be sort of preventing them from killing each other. on thursday mccain and lindsey graham, as you know, skewered mr. paul, particularly his filibuster. so who wins this rare old tussle? is it the old guard or the new guard? >> it is an interesting establishment gop versus this tea party gop -- >> who wins? >> you know, i think rand paul within the conservative bubble comes out looking better. now, obviously to you and me we listen to it and graham and mccain are making more sense.
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rand paul is fighting a good fight against a problem that does not exist, a wild hypothetical that has not happened, perhaps never will happen. part of the gop's program of like real solutions for fake problems. americans in restaurants can rest assured that they will not be droned. >> i hope jane fonda knows that. >> especially if they're not combatants against america. so they can be comfortable tonight and into the future. but like rand paul 2016 is actually looking better. is he going to win the nomination? probably not. is he going to be president? certainly not. but he can be a player in 2016 and doing that thing we've seen in the primaries where you have the far right candidate, the tea party candidate, who pulls ut other candidate -- the republican candidate rightward. he will do that for the party in the 2016 primary and as they're trying to inch to a more moderate position, he's going to go, no, no, no stay over here, far on the right with me. >> and fall off the ledge. nia-malika during his filibuster senator paul kept asking whether
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the president's drone policy could target an american like jane fonda in the 1960s, someone abroad engaging in anti-government rhetoric. these far-fetched examples set mccain off thursday. here is a sample of his reaction. >> jane fonda, like jane fonda. drop a drone hell fire missile on jane fonda. as much as i mate to say it, that that applies to jane fonda. a debate and discussion that we would have killed jane fonda. we should not talk about drones killing jane fonda. >> nia-malika, for want of reputation, does his high per h help or hinder senator paul? >> i think ultimately it helps him because you have people talking. you have people raising questions about the transparency or lack thereof around the drone program. robert gibbs, of course, saying
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that when he got on, he was told not to acknowledge that the drone program actually existed. so i think he did his cause a real favor, and he very much is i think linking to a lot of the conversation that you saw going on among ron paul supporters as he was running for president in 2012. and conservative republicans really see rand paul, i talked to some of them today, they see him as the second coming of ronald reagan. a real movement conservative. somebody who can galvanize the right and really arctticulate t vision of the tea party, of limited government in a way that ron paul really couldn't. they're very excited about -- >> i know, i agree with you nia that people are saying that but anybody decent in the republican party is supposed to be the new ronald reagan just like anybody decent in the nba is the second coming of michael jordan. so that's always going to be the new meme and they need it to be the new ronald reagan because
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they haven't had a president to be proud of since ronald reagan. but in general rand paul is working with the sowing of deep fear of american government. you hear that a lot when you listen to the thoughts in the conservative bubble, that you can't trust government, obama should be in prison, he's hollowing out the military, the country is going down the tubes. they weren't this fearful and critical of the government when it was bush going into a country that did not have wmd but now we must be so fearful. make sure we protect every american who is in a cafe anywhere. how elitist do they think we are that we're all living in cafes? >> but nia-malika, rush limbaugh has described rand paul, and i'm quoting rush limbaugh, as a hero to a lot of people today. if rush limbaugh called you heroic, would you seek immediate medical attention? >> well, i will say this about ron paul and i think rand paul is a more realistic version of
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ron paul. he was able to draw very enthusiastic crowds, very diverse crowds and young crowds, and i think a rand paul will be able to tap into some of that. i do think there is this deep distrust of the government that borders on conspiracy theories, but in a lot of ways i think there's this deep distrust and misgivings around a lot of the big institutions that people think have failed them. and in many ways i think that rand paul will be able to tap into that successfully. moderate republicans are a little afraid of rand paul because they feel like -- >> who, who? moderate republicans? who are -- i'm sorry, who are they? i'm not sure -- who are they? do they exist? i didn't know they existed. >> nia-malika henderson and toure, obviously one hour is not enough for toure. coming up, russell simmons says the nra can keep their yankee hat wearing spokesman and their african-american campaigns for themselves. stay with us. >> any male catholic can be
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from ann romney the sea lion, the she lion even, to that carnivore bill o'reilly. an america doing rand stands. >> today is founding fathers friday. >> third president of the united states and one of our country's founding fathers thomas jefferson. nice to see you, mr. president. >> these cuts will affect our military, civil servants, construction projects, grants to native americans. there's no need to be unhappy. >> matt and craig live close to an open space area. >> we humans, we call them parks. >> our lives are going to be fine.
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>> where were tears? >> for me, yeah. i'm mostly over it. >> do you think it was fair? >> no. i'm happy to blame the media. i'm like a she lion defending mitt. >> how do you rate yourself as a presidential candidate? >> i did better this time than i did the time before. >> i love this guy. >> he loves basketball. obama loves basketball. >> i have supported both a path to legalization or a path to citizenship. >> wait for a few minutes and see how jeb bush changes his mind again. >> talk about positive things. >> honesty is obviously not the best policy for this white house. >> i hope that hugo chavez is rotting in hell. >> they're going to shut off white house tours. >> i'll pick up the tab. if i can get the white house doors open. >> so childish. >> one of these days to not be bellicose. >> he takes that olive branch and beats them over the heads with it. >> control the anger. >> you are lying here! >> a male catholic who has an inside track on infallibility. >> you are 100% wrong. >> would o'reilly accept a demotion.
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>> today the snow quester, tomorrow drone-sicles. >> the shortest letters i have ever seen from an attorney general. it had a very solid "f u." >> fank you for asking. >> that's pretty darn cool. >> these old bulls are getting jealous. >> drop a drone hell fire missile on jane fonda. >> a drone hell fire missile on jane fonda? >> ridiculous. >> there are some limits to filibustering. >> shrimp and corn chowder, a bad experience a few years ago. >> i'm going to have to take care of those in a few minutes here. >> let's get right to our panel. we're joined by msnbc contributor professor james peterson, director of africana studies at lehigh university and krystal ball, co-host of "the cycle." the supreme court is about to hear a challenge to the defense of marriage act which was signed into law in 1996 by the great president bill clinton who has now decided to write an op-ed in "the washington post" and he
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says this. i have come to believe that doma is contrary to our nation's principles and, in fact, income patible with our constitution. it should be overturned. in a nation that honors freedom and justice, it's hard to see how doma fits anymore. would that be fair? >> i think that's exactly fair. and it is remarkable just to note how far we have come in a relatively short period from 1996. i mean, the reason that president clinton signed doma into law is because there was a fear that republicans were going to push a can goal amendment making marriage between a man and a woman. and same thing with don't ask, don't tell. that was the compromise place to be. republicans wanted a cleat ban and some democrats as well wanted a complete ban on gays serving in the military. don't ask, don't tell was a way at that time to allow gays to continue serving. obviously the politics and the public sentiment on both of those issues have changed in such a beautiful and dramatic
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way. it's incredible to see bill clinton come out and sate basically i was totally wrong and this is where we need to be. >> he's said that before, of course. president clinton's former adviser on lgb t issues has an answer for us. he says, i'm quoting, the simple answer is that bill clinton got boxed in by his political opponents, and that his campaign positions on gay rights ran ahead of public opinion. but there was another important factor, a failure to imagine how quickly gay rights would evolve and how difficult it would be to undo the damage that doma did. but, professor, i have to ask you, isn't it the president's job to lead and be ahead of public opinion? >> it is and generally speaking if we're going to give the presidents the moniker of being great, we would hope they would have great vision, but there are so many things that happened that were unforeseeable, martin. let's go back to that time frame for a moment. in 1998 is when we have the
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matthew shepard case which brought to a national level the kind of violence and the kind of hatred directed at gay and lesbian folks. i think that started to move thing along. you have popular culture "queer eye for the straight guy" things happening that helped move things along much more quickly. >> speaking of leadership, krystal that's infallibly in tune to the changing trends of public opinion, i'd like to ask you a question about reince priebus, chairman of the republican national -- >> i knew where you were going with that. >> it turns out he performed some type of autopsy on the republican disaster in 2012. here is a preview of his findings as told to hugh hewitt on his radio show. take a listen. >> and that controlling the debate process, getting involved in moderators and networks and all of these other issues so that we don't have chaos. i mean, we just can't have msnbc
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hosting a debate at the reagan library only to have their network make the commentary afterwards for three hours about the debate of the republican party. i mean, it's ridiculous. >> so krystal, as an anchor on the network i want to give you warmest congratulations for defeating mitt romney. >> thank you. >> also, you did build that and i'd like you to listen to what rachel maddow says in response to mr. reince priebus. here is rachel. >> do you think they know that msnbc would talk about what happened at a republican debate even if it happened on another network? we were the reason you guys lost? we're what needs to be fixed? the republican party? seriously? i find this to be excellent news. >> krystal, excellent news. >> frankly, i'm drunk on the power. >> i can see that already. >> it's an accomplishment. clearly reince fee brpriebus ha a lot of soul searches and has some to the novel conclusion
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among republicans that the media is to blame because the media is always to blame, the liberal media. if they want to blame the media, they should look at the conservative media that allowed them all, mitt romney included, to live in in bubble of unreality and not deal with the president who actually is the lay of the land as it actually lies and to delude themselves into thinking they were going to win this landslide election by hating on the president, bashing the president, and offering no solutions of their own. >> professor peterson, to krystal's point, it's their own side or their own chosen selected media that's to blame here because it's that media that was offensive to so many people, was dismissive of women, of latinos, and, indeed, was nasty and attacking of the president not because of his policies but because they alleged he wasn't born here and they didn't earn any of his academic quaul fi cases. >> certainly this autopsy should be directed at the right wing media machine, but to msnbc's credit a couple things.
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msnbc did do an exceptional job of covering the republican presidential primary in all of its ugliness, all of the race-baiting, all of that sort of racialized discourse. all of the stories of women and anti-women discourse, the msnbc covered those things. this network represents the kind of coalition that re-elected this president in ways that other networks don't. those are simple facts. he should look at the right wing gled, of course, but some of what he's say being msnbc's role is true in the sense that it represents the america that some of these networks simply don't do. >> if i could add onto that, i also think this network really led the charge in highlighting the republicans' efforts to disenfranchise voters of color in particular and made people more aware of the restrictions on their own rights. it made them more determined to go out and vote and make their voices heard. >> absolutely. krystal ball and dr. james peterson. thank you so much. next with smoke screens and a barrage of bullets, the nra is
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intentionally playing into the fears of very few people, very, very few people. that's what russell simmons says. stay with us. we're here! we're going to the park! [ gina ] oh hey, dan! i really like your new jetta! and you want to buy one like mine because it's so safe, right? yeah... yeah... i know what you've heard -- iihs top safety pick for $159 a month -- but, i wish it was more dangerous, like a monster truck or dune buggy! you can't have the same car as me! [ male announcer ] now everyone's going to want one. let's get a jetta. [ male announcer ] volkswagen springtoberfest is here and there's no better time to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease one of four volkswagen models for under $200 a month. visit vwdealer.com today. your doctor will say get smart about your weight. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
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strategist and former chief minority counsel to the house judiciary committee. julian, russell simmons also says that black on black crime will not be solved by arming more people with guns. can i ask you, julian, does the nra have any other reaction to any challenge in this country aside from get more guns? i guess their answer to the recessi recession, sell more crimes. to crime, buy more guns. >> it's the argument that everyone in this country should be terrorized into having to buy a gun. and nowhere is that claim going to ring more hollow than in the african-american community. african-american males are 15 times nor likely to be killed with a gun than their white counterparts. 40% of all african-americans will tell you that according to surveys that gun violence has affected their lives. according to the pew research about 80% -- 79% to 80% of african-americans support the kind of gun legislation we have been talking about. you know, i think the nra and
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their front people would be taken a little more seriously if they didn't have people on their board, and there are at least two people on the nra board who have said things like inner city gun deaths do not represent a net loss to society. there was another nra board member who said that inner city gun deaths actually represent a net gain to society because of the kind of people that they were taking out. if the nra didn't go after the president's daughter, if the nra didn't associate with people like ted nugent who has rationized apartheid, this is a really, really -- this has gone from bad to the absurd and russell simmons has put the nra quite in its place and i think exposed the absurdity of these kind of front men and how hollow their arguments ring. >> in his "huffington post" column, simmons goes on to say fear is the greatest weapon used against the defenseless. it is a tactic that confuses the blurred minds of those who are in struggle, and right now it is the best ammunition that the
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national rifle association can muster with smoke screens and a barrage of bullet. the nra is intentionally playing into the fears of very few people, very, very few. julian, is that you wiall -- th nra has left, fear? >> it is all that's left and russell simmons is extraordinarily eloquent and i think this campaign won't go very far. it ignores all of the data. if you look, all of the data shows that the presence of a gun, and this is especially so in the african-american community, the presence of a gun is more likely to result in your death or in the death of one of our loved ones than it is to protect you. that's true about the international data. that's true about the state by state comparisons, and it's true about if you have a gun inside your home. russell simmons i think very, very eloquently put that fact out there. again, african-americans are 15 times more likely to be killed by a gun than are their white counterparts. so this is a desperate and
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pathetic attempt by the nra to put up some front men to make an argument in a community that is ravaged -- >> it is exhausted. >> and it is exhausted by gun violence and it's highly offensive as it was having gun appreciation day occur on martin luther king's holiday. these guys go beyond tone deaf. this is highly, highly offensive stuff. i guarantee you if you ask 11 out of 100 african-americans, they will tell you that. >> thank you. >> next what influence will the tea party have on over 30 senate seats that are up for grabs in 2014? max and penny kept our bookstore exciting and would always come to my rescue. but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself. and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight. so i switched to purina cat chow healthy weight formula. i just fed the recommended amount...
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so who is afraid of the tea party? well, senate republicans for one. at this point there's a select and growing fraternity of republican senators who were either defeated by a tea party
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challenger or scared off from seeking re-election due to the threat of one. but there's one incumbent republican who appears undaunted. his name is senator lindsey graham of south carolina whose path to re-election in 2014 seems pretty smooth at this point, and that could mean big things on a range of tough issues, including immigration. let's bring in msnbc contributor jimmy williams and victoria defrancesco soto, a contribute for msnbc and msnbc latino. jimmy, i want to draw your attention to a story in "national journal." it says things are changing in your native state. the tea party isn't quite the power it may once have been. it also says senator graham is gambling that changing times and his own political skills will keep him safe in 2014 from a primary challenge by the tea party. do you think that's accurate? >> not after yesterday. >> oh, dear. >> not after he went to the
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floor and beat the living hell out of the libertarian, the liberty, the tea party favorite senator rand paul. there are a lot of conservatives in south carolina. i have spoke with two of them today who are itching -- after him going to the floor and excoriating senator paul for doing the filibuster, they are beyond apopeletic. he's tacking to the center on immigration, but what he did by going after rand paul, while i agree with what lind si said, which is all they were all quiet during the bush administration, he did, in fact, stir up the conservative base and they are beyond happy about it. they're not happy about it. he could get primaried. >> you think he will, jimmy? >> i think -- let me be clear. they're looking for someone. they're looking for someone at
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this point. they want a business person. they want a self-funder. this race in south carolina is going to cost between $12 million and $15 million. he's got $5 million in the bank. the outside groups are going to help him. the nrc will help him. he's going to have plenty of money, but if he gets a challenge to the right, i mean, god only knows what happens in the general. don't forget, john mccain only won south carolina by 52%. >> i remember. >> victoria, if it's true that the tea party sword of damocles is not hanging over the heads of republican incumbents, then those same lawmakers might actually have some freedom to get something accomplished during their years in washington, especially on immigration. do you agree? >> i do agree. and if we remember, immigration is one of those few issues that has traditionally cut across party lines. we've actually seen folks such as rand paul also support more open immigration. and why do people get scared about immigration in the gop? because they think that if
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millions of latinos are given citizenship, then they're all going to run to the democratic party, but what we're starting to see is that isn't necessarily the case. a poll earlier this leek from latino decisions shows that if republicans are seen as taking the lead on comprehensive immigration reform that brings in a pathway to citizenship, latinos are going to be 44% more likely to vote for a republican. so the gop can see that, hey, not all is lost if we actually allow for a pathway to citizenship and immigration. >> right. jimmy, we just learned last night senator carl levin is retiring. he's the fourth incumbent democratic to the senate to announce. do you think the democrats can hang onto the senate? >> in 2008 when the economy was really in the tank, barack obama won by 16%. kerry won by 4%. debbie stabenow won by 20
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points. and so let's be very clear. it's a hard state for republicans to win statewide. i think the last republican to win was spencer abraham and that was 1994 if i'm not mistaken. so listen, the congressman from the third district, he's going to probably run which will free up that district, by the way, for a democrat to take it, but let's be remarkably clear about what's happening in michigan. the state in and of itself has depressed pockets, but around the gm suburbs of detroit, those places are trending dem and i just don't see how a republican can win that seat. >> jimmy williams and victoria defrancesco soto, thank you for coming on. we'll be right back. ♪
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